- I had never made pâte à choux before. It wasn't hard.
- My mom used to make cream puffs shaped like swans. I may have to pull out those instructions.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Me: I think I want that corner unit in the basement to come upstairs.
DH: A coworker is switching apartments and needs help moving.
Me: I want to bring up that corner unit. I need help though.
DH: (without moving) mm hmm
DH: My buddy needs help moving some furniture so they can refinish their floors.
Three Days Later:
DH: Buddy needs my help moving the furniture back.
Me (to mother): I'm going to move this unit upstairs.
Mom: That would be perfect!
DH: I haven't lifted weights for a week! I need a workout.
Me: I need your help moving that corner unit.
DH: I mean a real workout. So why do you want to move it again?
DH: Some coworkers had a disaster with their closing and they need help moving their stuff into storage tonight.
Me: I don't mind you helping. But I need you to promise you'll help me move that corner unit tonight.
DH: Okay, I'll do it when I get home. (In his head: Why does she seem slightly irrational? Must be That Time.)
Me: Look downstairs! I assembled five shelving units, picked all the toys up off the floor and moved the (250 lb)treadmill.
DH: Why didn't you ask me? I would have helped to move all that stuff.
Me (In my head): Because I don't think we'll still living here in 2015.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
We use it a playroom/gym. This is where all toys live when we have to clean and it's where I workout, when I workout.
I realized it was also a disaster area this week. The kiddos have been leaving toys in My Sewing Room because they are playing in it. I sweep all of it out and it comes right back in. I kept asking why until I realized:
They can't play in the playroom because it sucks.
Thus, we move on to the next project--Operation WreckRoom.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Overall, it was a successful summer:
- No one got a sunburn (except DH, while he was telling sea-level visitors to put on tons of sunscreen)
- No one got heatstroke
- No emergency room visits
We also managed to find all the water features in the area and I got a healthy dose of Olympic coverage. Enough to tide me over for 18 months.
Now my favorite season starts.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I was on such a high that I decided to take the opportunity to finish some dusty UFOs that had been lurking in the shadows and came to light while shoveling out my sewing room. I inserted a zipper, sewed some seams, knit a couple gussets for sleeves that were way too skinny for normal women, much less me.
Then I decided my mom had had enough of a head start on her race sweater. I started mine. It's a beauty from VK Fall 2008 that has a voluptuous cable traveling up the back and hood and up the sleeves. This sweater is luscious.
I started the sleeve first because I hate sleeves, well I hate the necessity of knitting two sleeves. I was knitting beautifully and the thing was flying off my needles. No sooner had I thought "Could I finish two garments by the end of the Olympics" when the knitting God(dess)--what is her name?--struck.
The cable is 22 rows, which are repeated as needed. I was supposed to knit 19.5 inches and end on row 1. My sleeve measured about 22 inches on row 1. I would have carried on but that little voice in my head kept nagging. I realized I had altered the cable to fit in an 18 row repeat. Which meant I had done one more repeat than necessary, and had really botched up the whole thing. Don't give me suggestions (unless it involves hard liquor or moments of silence)--It's too late:
I ripped out the cable (not the entire sleeve) and I am reknitting.
My only consolation is that my mom had to restart her sleeve 4 times.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
But you'll just have to trust me. It seems DH has taken my camera on a business trip. Talk about a gold meddle (mispelling intended).
A formal protest has been filed with the KOC (Knitting Olympic Committee) who will review the situation before awarding medals. I'm sure it will involve a photo finish.
Let's hope I pass the drug test.
4 boxes of 24 crayons
1 box of tissues
Shouldn't this be the other way around? I know my child won't go through four boxes of crayons in a year. He hasn't gone through one box in five years. But Tissue? Absolutely.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I turned on the Olympics yesterday morning and I was explaining how the swim relays work to my kids. Then NBC did another article on Mr Phelps.
5yo: Is that the Slippo-speedage? He's fast.
Hmm..there are worse nicknames a swimmer could have.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I am sorry you chose my basement as your refuge. I understand the the rain has likely flooded your usual homes and insurance deductibles are a bitch. Nothing sounds sweeter to a soggy mouse refugee camp that warm, dry, Mason de Mountain Mama.
But the cat was here first. It's nothing personal. If I were your size he would attack me too. It's just his way. I did my best to 'catch and release' you into the wild areas were you belong. But by kitty-catch number four, it was too dark and the kitty needs his exercise. And the extra nutrition.
And please don't pull the "abandoned baby" stunt again. It's just too cruel for all involved.
The Men's 400 Relay That last leg is amazing. You can see the adrenaline burst out of those men as they cheer their victory. Mr. Phelps' swimsuit riding a little low on the hips is nice too.
Whitewater Kayaking Finals This is the Olympics at their finest. A man representing a tiny country I couldn't find on a map wins a medal. He is so excited he breaks his paddle and is still jumping around with excitement during the medal ceremony. Who wouldn't want to cheer for Togo after that?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
If you see a forlorn mom sitting at Starbucks wearing black and draping half a fair-isle vest over her head like a shroud while jabbing knitting needles through her recipe files you will understand completely I'm sure. Dark chocolate and mochas are always appreciated at a time like this.
Day 1: Cast-on. Rib (corregated ribbing no less) 17 of 23 rows. Cheer! This will be easy.
Day 2: Finish ribbing and started fair isle. Decide to incorporate Olympic Rings in the design because that would make it harder drive me crazy teach me a lesson look nice.
Day 3: Knit 23 rows but frogged 8. Curse Olympic rings in fair-isle knitting.
Day 4: Spend day at amusement park. Knit seven rows then fall asleep and miss Men's Gymnastics Bronze.
Day 5: Knit 12 rows. Take project to SnB and cruise through 3 rows. Realize I made a mistake and have to frog them. Teach SnB new swearwords. While falling asleep that night remember I am a day behind.
Day 6: Knit 16 rows. Am sick of my colors. The pile of laundry looks big. Decide I should do laundry and maybe cook a fancy, cuban-style dinner. And go out with my family for the evening.
Day 7: Project is definately too heavy. I might get carpal tunnel if I continue to torture myself this way. Fantasize about next project. 5yo requests a new sweater and I seriously consider entertaining request. I am halfway to my car keys when I check myself. Lose count of rows.
Ten more days!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I haven't been to an amusement park for a while and it was fun. Lots of fun.
I was only able to knit seven of my fifteen Olympic rows last night. I thought I'd be okay but I fell asleep while watching the Olympics. I missed the Gymnast's Bronze too. Not sure which causes more anguish.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The Olympics are on. Twice a year I am glued to the television. If this was the only television I watched I would be happy. It pretty much is the only TV I watch.
I also have some guests in town for a few days. Luckily they're easygoing. I am getting a glimpse into the future because one is a strapping gentleman of 14. The first thing he did was set up camp in the kitchen. I am going to entertain myself while he performs the much needed chore of eating all my food cleaning out my kitchen and pantry.
I am also doing a Ravelympics project--cast on during the opening ceremonies, be done by the closing. I'm doing a fair-isle vest and it's enough of a challenge that I can complete it in 17 days without obscenely neglecting my children.
But I fear I may obscenely be neglecting my blog. When I think about it, I'll post pictures of my Knitting.
Monday, August 04, 2008
You can't pin this on me. Would I do such classy pursuits as knitting with good wool and dining on European cakes at such a lowbrow locale?
I plead not guilty.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
You probably underbeat.
I did an experiment a few months ago because I had some extra cream and thought it would be fun to make butter with the kids. I wanted to see how long it took to overwhip the cream. I whipped for about 15 minutes before I got butter. The cream stayed in a usable consistency for about 8 minutes. This is good to know, as before I was so scared of overwhipping my cream that I usually had more of a puddle than a dollop.
I have never beaten eggwhites so long that they collapse, but it seems a worthwhile experiment. Next time I make hollandaise, I may do just that. Then I'll have a handle on how long soft peaks are soft, stiff peaks are stiff and when destruction is eminent
Anyway, you cooks out there might want to try the same thing just to watch the changes that occur. You may find it takes longer to overbeat than you thought.
And your buttercream might be more successful.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Whenever I make a convoluted recipe I assemble all my ingredients to get a quick visual. Not only do I find out quickly if I have enough of everything, but it also gives me a picture to post here. This batch of ingredients is deceptive, most of them get used two or three times, as there are six different parts to this cake.
Another picture to entertain while I blather:
I immediately decided not to veganize. First of all, there were a million eggs and a fair share of cream and butter. Second, with all those eggs, I was in for a mess wih my altitude adjustments anyway.
Altitude adj for approx 5000 feet:
- Increased oven temp 15 degrees
- There were seven yolks and five whites--I used all seven whites.
The cake rose beautifully and (sigh of relief) stayed risen. It was perfectly risen--no dome or sinkage at all! And for some reason, no picture at all! The assembly was straightforward, though there were lots of steps.
New to me:
- I've never successfully toasted nuts before this. Usually there are more cinders than nuts. I had to keep my wits about me (ergo I made the cake last night when everyone was in bed)
- I've never made this kind of buttercream. It came out light and fluffy and perfect. I still don't like buttercream.
- Never made praline, or praline paste. It was surprisingly simple.
I prepared everything last night except the ganache, which I made this morning (and put in my coffee, and debated puring on my eggs, and considered bathing in, but I digress). I had a dark chocolate ganache on my wedding cake (which my mom made) so there is a special place in my arteries heart for ganche.
Like my cakestand? The idea has potential--you could stuff a couple pretty flowers or berries in the wineglasses. I especially love the way my 5yo sauntered into the picture wearing only his underwear. All sorts of classy around here, let me tell you.
Friday, August 01, 2008
The astute of you may notice a significant trend in my new stash entrants:
The other ladies in my group were giggling at this. I felt no need to justify. I know what I like.
But then my mother said
"You should see her house!" My face turned from sheepish (no pun intended) grin into mild horror.
Exhibit A: Yarn-"Cactus" Living Room Paint: "Olive Oil"
Exhibit B: Yarn "Pistachio" 5yo Bedroom: "Corn Husk"
Exhibit C: Yarn "Peridot", 2yo Bedroom "Grasscloth"
I did have a sweater's worth of a burgandy-ish color. My mom and I found a pattern we both liked and decided to each make it (as a race). When I saw the color she picked (a wine-y color), we knew we needed to switch one (we mean to swap on occasion). The only other color that appealed was, of course, green.
Trader Joes Vanilla Paste-The last time we found this was two years ago (T.J. being not in my area). DH was in Washington finalizing our moving truck and he called me from the store:
DH: They have Vanilla Paste. How much do you want?
Me: How much do they have?
DH: Plenty. Like 20 bottles.
Me: Buy 'em out!
DH: No really, how many?
He came home with six. I'm on my last bottle (serious rationing happening here!).
I've heard William Sonoma carried vanilla paste too, at about $20.00 a bottle. Trader Joe's is far more reasonable. If they are still making it, you have got to try it.